Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 02, 2016 (SKNIS): Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Mr. Osmond Petty, has charged newly appointed Superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prisons, Mr. Junie Hodge, with improving the rehabilitative function of the prison.
In a brief ceremony to introduce Superintendent Hodge to his team of workers, Mr. Petty underscored that the rehabilitative function of the prison is extremely crucial.
“We have to extend our rehabilitation programme. Over the last three years, we have had interaction with consultants Miss Wendy Singh and others from the European Union (EU) Project and a number of recommendations have been put forward and are being contemplated, and Mr. Hodge is now in a position to take these forward,” Mr. Petty said.
“For example, we have rehabilitative programmes now which are education-oriented—people have been doing CXC. I know there is a proposal to improve the vocational type rehabilitation, but there is also a need for rehabilitation of people with specific problems such as drug abuse and also sex offenders…these are people who perhaps came in with specific issues and so our rehabilitative programme needs to be reorganized to address some of these issues,” Mr. Petty added.
Mr. Petty also highlighted that there are a lot of proposals on the table to be implemented from the EU consultancy with respect to training and ongoing training of prison officers, prison reforms and promotions.
“There is a promotion policy which in due course I would be discussing with Mr. Hodge in terms of how we move forward with promotions here at the prison,” he said, adding that “promotions would of course involve what we call performance development reviews so that there is a proper record of what persons would have achieved so that when we do the promotions it is not just a haphazard approach or friendly approach but it would be based on what people would have done and how they have been assessed.”
The permanent secretary said that there are quite a number of reform measures which are to be implemented and that Mr. Hodge has been tasked with the implementation of these along with some other reforms that he has of his own.
“I want to encourage you therefore, the senior as well as junior members of the prison, to give Mr. Hodge your support,” Mr. Petty said, while noting that “we think he brings a fresh approach to the prison, but he also has the task of dealing with some of the issues at the prison.”